Difference Between Manga, Manhwa and Manhua

manga, manhwa and manhua

Manga, Manhwa, and manhua. What are they, and what’s the difference?


Let’s start at the beginning with one you guys probably already know. Manga.

Well, not quite yet, but we’ll get there. It’s smack dab in the middle of the Showa era.

After world war IIĀ  The US and others swooped in to keep a stern eye over Japan for a bit.

Japan, now not in war, had the opportunity to pursue more not-war stuff, like art. With the

Allied occupation of Japan came American comics and films.

Meaning, extra inspiration towards artistic media. Japan had a boom of creativity during this post-war era.

Along with this came the production of manga. Basically, Japanese comics printed in black

and white, red, right, to left.

One of these manga was called Astro Boy and turned the small kindling of an industry into an inferno.

To this day, Astro Boy is one of the best-selling manga of all time.

It’s not an exaggeration to say this is one of the series that largely contributed to the

success of anime and manga becoming huge cultural powerhouses. During this time, Japan’s increasingly

large readership continued to grow, along with the solidification of its two main marketing genres.

That being shounen manga for boys and shoujo manga for girls. Manga slowly gained more and

more traction both in Japan and overseas. It wasn’t until the internet age, though, that it

started to gain massive worldwide appeal. By the 2010s, manga and anime were becoming mainstream,

with Japanese manga series outselling traditional US comic books. Nowadays, it’s easy to see the

popularity and influence of manga all over media. simply put, there’s three easy ways to identify manga.

One, it’s a Japanese comic.

Two, it’s produced in black and white. Manga are printed this way to save on costs, time, and because it’s part of the identity of manga nowadays.

Lastly, manga reads right to left, unlike western books or comics that are left to right.

but, the difference between a manga, a Korean manhwa, and a Chinese manhua?

Notably, it’s where the comic was produced.


Manhwa are South Korean comics that are would probably explain as a hybrid between western comics and Japanese manga.

Modern manhwa is mostly delivered in color through services like webtoons or other online hosts, individual or corporate.

Other than being in color due to how Korean is written, it reads left to right like western comics do.

South Korea was in a Japanese occupation from 1910 to 1945, so they picked up a lot of Japanese language and culture.

Similarly to Japan, when manga began to rise in popularity, so did manhwa, with manga influencing its beginnings to how it is today.

Manhwa didn’t really begin to reach worldwide appeal until webtoons came into popularity in the early 2000s. Even now, it’s still not nearly as popular in the west as manga. Manhwa has the distinct advantage, though, of it being a mostly internet based culture.

Although it was printed like manga in the past, manhwa didn’t really boom until the advent

of smartphones and the internet.

It became easy to share, easy to consume, with many being free to read and cheaper to produce.

While many tropes are inspired from manga, manhwa have their own set of cultural influences and tropes as well.

Similar mediums, but different mediums. So, three easy ways to identify Korean manhwa are where it’s produced. Manhwa are South Korean comics.

Even if it’s translated, it is generally pretty easy to tell since Korean names and Japanese names differ considerably.

Sung Jin Woo is pretty different than Kirigata Kazuto.

Secondly, it’s generally colored. Modern manhwa are mostly produced and published digitally,

so it’s far easier and more affordable to have color.

Lastly, manhwa reads left to right. Unlike manga, which is right to left, manhwa is pretty easy to adapt to since it reads pretty similar to English and that it also goes left to right.

That’s manga and manhwa, but what about manhua?


you probably guessed the pattern by now. Manhwa is a Chinese comic. Between manga and Korean manhwa, Chinese manhwa probably has the most in common with Korean manhwa.

It also has a similar story to that of Korean manhwa being colored and adapting to a mostly online production.

Also, many Chinese manhwa read left to right as well. Of the three, it’s probably the least popular on the global

Chinese manhwa have many different themes like cultivation, basically the ancient Chinese concept of bettering yourself through meditation, elixirs, gathering of artifacts, and becoming enlightened.

They also have a popular genre called wuxia, which is basically about martial artists with supernatural ability or skill.

The three ways to identify Chinese manhwa are that it is produced in China.

Again, Chinese names of people and places.

Second is that it’s colored.

And lastly, it’s generally read from left to right.

So, the differences between the three are mostly the place and language it’s written in, which way it’s read, and if it’s colored or not. I hope you guys learned something and maybe had a good time.